The Naked Estate
You are all the ages you’ve ever been: all of them,
Right now as you lie beside me sleeping just a little restlessly.
Age has had a hell of a bad press - is massively misrepresented:
It’s merely a matter of measurement:
Measuring how far you’ve come…
But it says
About what you carry with you,
What you may (or may not) have done -
Even less about who you are.
To me, today, you see, it seems
You never were that girl of seventeen –
[‘were’ like a Tantalus-Odysseus
Fated nevermore to find Time’s landfall,
Lost to yourself, the world, to me and fading memory] –
Rather you are and will ever be forever she:
That beautifully unsure, unknowing beauty
Upon my teenage beach,
Yet at the selfsame time
And hub of a home
Warmer with all its windows open to the wide world
Than a mansion with its hollow heart hidden
Behind layers of triple-glazed privacy.
You turn toward me as you sleep,
You and all your years in concert,
And we’re singing harmonies to Ronstadt records
In my front room:
‘Prisoner in Disguise’
[and wasn’t John David Souther’s pirouetting around
Linda’s voice in the last verse and chorus just spell-binding?
…And why could I never quite pitch it right? ].
Your outstretched leg grazes mine
And you’re my co-conspirator
In the fine art of ‘Community Cooking’ –
[Don’t ask: it’s complicated recipe:
Ingredients: cooking, singing, dancing -
Garnished with lots of gratuitous kissing activity! ]
Your arm wraps over my hip,
You snuggle into me, and suddenly
You’re the shattered one some Sunday mornings
That my ‘Coffee Fairy’
Loves to let lie and let caffeine
A hand upon mine
And we’re walking the dog down to Flaxlanden in 10 degrees of frost,
And it’s Sandbanks, Kew Gardens
And fingers entwined
In every road crossing we’ve ever made together.
Let’s say it plain:
There’s no such thing as time –
There’s just today
And every today you’re you
And every today I’m me
And we’re all we’ve ever been.
The more todays,
The more I believe we free ourselves
To become who we really are at the core
And the less we can countenance
Anything getting in the way of being me,
The way I see it, we enter the world naked,
Spend the early part of our lives unaware
Letting the world weave its will around us
And the rest of our days working our way
Back to our natural, naked estate,
To live, ‘til we leave, as we are.
We’ve always been naked to one another,
Now we share a beautifully singular nakedness
Knowing no shame, no time, no fear, no death:
Knowing only Eden, only Love, only we and this breath.